• Newsletters
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
°
Thursday, July 20, 2017
View complete forecast
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Ex-Marine from Indiana gets 20 years in Ohio mosque fire

A photo released by the Wood County Sheriff's office shows Randy Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind. The former U.S. Marine who admitted setting fire to a mosque in Ohio because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas won't be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, a judge ruled Thursday Marach 21, 2013. (Associated Press file photo)
A photo released by the Wood County Sheriff's office shows Randy Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind. The former U.S. Marine who admitted setting fire to a mosque in Ohio because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas won't be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, a judge ruled Thursday Marach 21, 2013. (Associated Press file photo)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 08:29 am
TOLEDO, Ohio — A federal judge sentenced a former Marine from Indiana to 20 years in prison Tuesday for starting a fire inside an Ohio mosque because he wanted revenge for the killings of American soldiers overseas.Randy Linn, 52, apologized in court and blamed what happened on a day of heavy drinking. He said late last year while pleading guilty that he'd become enraged after seeing images of wounded soldiers in the news and decided to burn the mosque.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary ordered Linn, of St. Joe, Ind., to pay $1.4 million for the damages caused by the fire.

Prosecutors have said Linn drove about two hours from his home to suburban Toledo on Sept. 30 and broke into the mosque where he poured gasoline on a prayer rug and lit it on fire. Linn had several firearms in his car and carried a gun into the mosque, which was empty at the time.

"Thank God I didn't hurt anybody," Linn said Tuesday. "I don't think I would've, but the state of mind I was in, I don't know."

Linn pleaded guilty to hate crime charges last December. When asked then by the judge whether he thought all Muslims are terrorists, he answered: "I'd say most of them are."

But Linn tried to take back his plea earlier this year, saying he was in an emotional and depressed state when he pleaded guilty. His attorney asked the judge to throw out the plea so Linn could undergo a competency exam.

Zouhary turned down his request to withdraw the plea last month.

Prosecutors have maintained that Linn did not act on impulse and pointed out that he told his son a few weeks before the fire that he wanted to burn down the mosque.

Cherrefe Kadri, president of the Islamic Center, addressed Linn in court before he was sentenced.

"We don't feel anger as much as hurt that someone hated us so much," she said as he looked away.

She said what he did was an attack on all religions and the entire community.

Members of the Islamic center were unable to use the building until just the last few weeks. A sprinkler system extinguished the blaze, leaving smoke and water damage in the prayer room of the facility, whose golden dome is a landmark along Interstate 75. No one was hurt.

Comments

News-Sentinel.com reserves the right to remove any content appearing on its website. Our policy will be to remove postings that constitute profanity, obscenity, libel, spam, invasion of privacy, impersonation of another, or attacks on racial, ethnic or other groups. For more information, see our user rules page.
comments powered by Disqus